Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sharing Out!

Our global audience just grew! We had the privilege of being selected by the Ministry of Education to showcase the impact of Deep Learning in Ontario Schools. Mag Gardner from NPDL and Audrey Hensen from the Ministry of Education, accompanied by a film crew, came to video the deep learning happening at St. Bernard Catholic School in Ottawa.

It began with a 7:00 am start time...way too early for us! There were many cameras, lights and mics..oh my... As the film crew from Mediaface set up, our nerves were teetering on the edge of excitement and nervousness. Each of us was interviewed separately for a half hour around deep learning with a focus on learning environments and partnerships
. It was a realization that we are so used to feeding off of each other's ideas and comments, that we were feeling lost without our partners interjecting. We are excited to see what captured their interest in our partnership and look forward to seeing the final product. Mag and Audrey commented that our individual interviews culminated in a really good synopsis of our leadership together and building school capacity.

During block 1, they filmed the grade 6 students working on area and perimeter centres. Students were hooked up with mics to capture their thinking as they worked through challenges. Students were able to articulate what they were learning and for what purpose. They were able to speak to how this was deepening their learning experience.

During block 2, they filmed the
grade 2 and 6 students
collaborating on Literacy tasks in the Learning Commons. There was a lot of action: green screen, makey makey, stop motion, iMovie, and Lego building. Students stayed fully engaged even as the film crew did close ups and interviews all while the learning continued.

One of the goals or requirements of TLLP was to share our learning with the wider community. We have hit our biggest audience YET..we will be featured on the Ministry website- the learning

When we got on board with our NPDL journey two years ago, we did not anticipate that we would be a voice for Ontario teachers around Learning Environments and Partnerships. At that time, we did not know what our global contribution would look like. Sharing our journey with the province is a stepping stone in reaching that global community.

Through this experience, we have grown individually and collectively. We had to continually reflect as to where we were are at and articulate what it  was that we were doing that was working for our students- because we know it is!  Our blog helped us to stop and reflect on an ongoing basis, think about our journey and where we're headed.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Genius Lounge

Our Genius Club was open for business the whole month of March. Prior to this, students have been learning about robots and technology tools.The club consists of students from grades 4-6, in total, 50 students are part of the Genius Club. Students were tasked with teaching their teachers how to use robots. Not only were robots the focus, but also digital tools like green screen, stop motion, powtoons, and coding. Students took this role very seriously and were effective in getting teachers engaged and excited to try things in their classroom.

Our vision, as leaders in this area, was to continue to build the capacity around using these digital tools in the classroom. Our thinking was that if teachers were learning from students, it would feel less intimidating and the focus is taken away from the teacher and put on the student. The teacher can rest assured that they do not need to have all the answers, but that students will help them learn along the way.

 In May, during our Board Education week, the Genius Club will once again place host, but this time to the parent community.